Some Fort Wayne bar owners say their business has dropped significantly since the city's near-total ban on smoking, a not unsurprising development since the county and some nearby communities such as New Haven have less-restrictive bans. The mayor doesn't even want to hear it, but some City Council members at least pretend to care:
Councilman Tom Hayhurst said he told bar owners they need to bring clear evidence their businesses are suffering, such as sales-tax data, to the council. He said he would consider an exception in the ban for bars if they can prove the adverse effects.
Does anybody else find this remarkable and appalling? Forget that the issue is smoking and consider what it says about government today. Once upon a time, we believed that public officials would come around at election time and try to get re-elected by telling us all the good they had done. Now, they demand that we prove to them that what they've done hasn't caused harm, then maybe they'll consider undoing the harm.